by Harvey Fierstein
July 5-21, 1985
Directed by Kate Hammett
CST proudly presented the
first regional theatre production of TORCH SONG TRILOGY.
Why did I want to direct Torch Song Trilogy? Because this vital play
combines humor, strong personal statement and the element of daring that
Carpenter Square is known for.
When I went to the show in
New York, I didn't want to be there. I'd already sat through a really boring 3
1/2 hours of MAGIC FLUTE at New York City Opera all afternoon and was exhausted
from jet lag and two weeks of racing around Europe. But a little devil on my
shoulder said "Kate, you've already got the ticket. Go just for the first
act, then you can leave."
Well, I went. All alone.
Crammed against the wall among strangers in a dirty little theater. There, on a
shabby set, with no fancy costumes or props, no fancy production numbers or big
star names, was acted out a story I just can't forget. The story of a kind,
loveable guy who isn't bothering anybody and doesn't ask for anything but
respect and a chance to build a tiny little place in this world for himself. For
three and a half hours I was amused, touched, shocked, and -- best of all --
enlightened about a segment of life that I had never experienced or even tried
"Why try to
understand?" people have asked.
Folks, that's what life is
all about. Understanding, learning, growing. I grew up in the deep south
surrounded by genteel prejudice and social injustice. I hate it whenever I find
When I saw TORCH SONG, I
recognized yet another form of that age old game of intolerance.
There's an old saying,
something about you can't judge or understand another person until you have
walked in his moccasins. Well, seeing that show in New York, I walked in
Arnold's bunny slippers - tasted his tears of frustration, his wonderful humor
and hopeful optimism. I grew a lot watching this show, and thought you might
like a chance to laugh and cry and learn with Arnold just as I did.
- Kate Hammett